How You Can Prevent Work-Related Back Pain
For most employees, a work day involves having to sit in a desk and use a computer for a huge chunk of their 8-hour schedule. While such a job doesn’t seem physically taxing, research shows that people with desk jobs are one of the most leading causes of back pain in America. In fact, a study conducted by Cornell University and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health point out that four out five cases of debilitating back pain is caused by sitting at desks and hunching over computers for long periods of time. Thankfully, you can take some active steps and preventive measures to keep comfortable and perform your tasks without a hitch.
The best way to prevent back pain caused by too much computer use is by practicing good posture. While you’re sitting down, make sure you keep your back straight, with your head and neck aligned with your shoulders. It’s also important that you keep your feet flat and relaxed on the floor. Another important thing to remember is making sure you’re not too close or too far away from the computer monitor. Ideally, your chair should be positioned to make sure that you’re about an arm’s length away from the screen. You can also re-arrange your mouse and move it near your keyboard to avoid having to strain too much when you have to move from typing to using the mouse. On top of these tips, it’s also crucial that you take periodic breaks away from your desk. Step up and do some stretching exercise to relieve any tension that might have built up in your muscles from sitting down and using the computer for too long.
In the same way, employers can also contribute in making sure that desk jobs don’t cause too much discomfort and pain for their employees. Providing employees with ergonomic seating can help reduce the occurrence of work-related back pain. WorkSTEPs also suggest that employers can implement functional capacity testing for candidates they are looking to hire or employees returning for work after an injury. This way, they can be sure that everyone on the job can meet the physical demands of their tasks and accomplish their work comfortably.